Two people wrote to me recently (a stranger and a good friend) who are going through some pretty turbulent times in their lives.
The stranger is going through family chaos and health issues, just barely keeping their head above water, just trying to survive.
The good friend is going through a time of feeling down, tightness around their head, a feeling of overall sadness, despite making a lot of positive changes in their life.
It’s tough when you’re going through difficulty, struggle, turbulence … it can feel like your world is falling apart, or you can feel hopeless. My heart is with you if you’re feeling this way.
But I firmly believe two things:
The second part is the key. If you see your turbulence as an opportunity for incredible growth, you are about to experience some amazing things.
Many of us just want to get out of the turbulence and pain, want to be free of it, want to find a place of peace. That’s natural, but that’s a rejection of your experience right now, and it’s a huge missed opportunity.
Let’s dive in and find out more.
In Zen, there’s a saying, “Let everything be your teacher.” It sounds trite, but if you practice it, it’s quite profound.
Imagine if every single person you met were your teacher — you could see each of them as an opportunity to practice, each as an opportunity to connect your open hearts, each as a way to see your interconnectedness. Each person becomes an opportunity to practice compassion, presence, consciousness.
Imagine if everything around you were teaching you about the preciousness and overwhelming beauty of life.
Imagine if every turbulent, painful time in your life were your teacher — showing you how to stay present in the midst of fear and pain, how to open your heart to the experience, how to be fearless in the midst of wanting to shut down.
In this way, pain and fear become your path to transformation — if you can find the courage to touch them, to feel them fully, to open to them with love.
Here’s a practice, if you want to use your turbulent time as a teacher and path to transformation:
Imagine practicing this throughout your time of chaos and sadness, turbulence and pain. Fully feeling, fully opening, fully falling in love with each moment.
It would change your life.
You would thrive.
I would love this for you.
If you want more (and we all want more), here are a few other things you can do:
And then come practice with me in my Fearless Training Program. We’re going to train in this together.
Originally published at zenhabits.net.